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What does it look like over there, in . . .
To appreciate the beauty found in Hanover, clearly, one must be a nature lover.  Hanover Parish in Jamaica is not known for its swinging nightlife, its gleaming towers of commerce, or its amusement parks and planetariums.  It has none of these.  What Hanover offers is nature in its raw and unparalleled beauty; and these photos, especially the 20 year old ones, can never do it justice.  Think of them as a tease, to entice you to experience the real thing for yourself, first hand.

(For you that will get technical with me- yes, Hedo offers swinging night life, but it is only a few feet into the parish of Hanover)
I began my Orange Bay experience in 1983 making a start with my husband in this little cabin.  It was a brief interlude in this condition (too "roots" for even he) but it seemed a long time!  Later, on my own, I built up another property in Orange Bay, on the Coast Road, and this is an early-on picture of the house, after marl was placed on the wetland and the house built. (This is the bike "repo'd" in Electra Glide story-ha!)
Panoramic view of Orange Bay Housing Scheme in the early days
In the Orange Bay housing scheme I have many good memories of love, friendship, and great times.  In its undeveloped stages the Scheme was a wonderful place for the first few residents to share, rejoice, party, and enjoy many nights under the stars with a bottle of rum, a few skleef, and no telephones, cable, or other luxuries than the fellowship of neighbors, in the true sense of the word.
The Orange Bay Housing Scheme had an "attitude" in the early 80's.  This "attitude" was exemplified by people like Rose, who became one of the most important influences in my life.  Rose and her husband Lorrie taught me the meaning of loyalty, truth, and friendship in a difficult period of my life, and the friendship endured beyond the situation and the times we lived in then.
In 1982-83 Orange Bay Housing Scheme was new &  mostly undeveloped, with its inhabitants being homesteaders like Kojak and I, with the government granting us an opportunity and all of us starting small, and each and every one building their life, one room at a time.  15 years later when I visited in late 98, I was proud and happy to see so many of the same families in residence, but so much farther along in accomplishing their dreams.
Looking back, I remember walking by the school most every day, and often the children would be at recess and come to meet me on the road, to rub my wrist or to beg a sweetie (I corrupted many innocents and rotted their teeth).  Never did I stop to think what these children would be ten or twenty years down the road.  Now when I look at these old pictures I wonder what became of all de pickney I received such open-hearted smiles and warmth from.
To appreciate the contrast between Negril and Orange Bay, and Half Moon Bay as well, come with me on a virtual journey, from the tourist havens and busy beach through Hanover to Half Moon and Orange Bay...
Upon leaving Negril environs toward Lucea, almost immediately after passing Rutland Point and Bloody Bay, one will find many roads, some little more than dirt tracks, leading off to the shore on the left or the countryside on the right.

I have rode my bikes onto many of these roads, exploring  alone or with friends, and found wonderful scenery and lovely coves with sandy beaches, or stunning views from low rocky cliffs with crystal blue waters.

Passing these tracks, just a few miles down the road, one will come upon the lush green entrance to Half Moon Bay.
Half Moon Bay is a humble little spot, but if it wasn't, it would boast clear water, a pristine beach, magnificent colorful coral formations, and a wide variety of colorful fish species.  All that and a delicious restaurant to boot!
Relaxing on the beach after snorkeling Half Moon Bay is....easy nuh!
The grounds at Half Moon Bay are well kept with a lovely variety of flowers and flowering bushes & trees about the place.
I must confess I have seen many people keep very odd pets, and have kept a few strange ones myself.  (Newts were the worst-had to feed them live bloodworms-Yuccch!)  But I never before saw a full grown horse kept strictly as a pet, and a beloved one at that-allowed to wander the grounds freely, even into the patio restaurant.  It was charming to see the Owner and Horse and their love for each other.

The day we were there last she had foaled recently, and her colt was well on its way to being as spoiled (hand fed) as its Momma.
...and I had thought only dogs followed their masters around...
The food was prepared by order and took some time, but was fresh and delicious and well worth the wait.  The drinks and food were very reasonably priced and waiting in a lovely spot like this was easy.  Of course, the restaurant is only steps from the beach so you can order ahead and come out of the water in time to eat.

Don't make fun of my hair here...I had just had a perm and the fresh out of the water look the first few weeks was very Shirley Temple I
Traveling onward from Half Moon Bay (8 miles from Negril) in the direction of Lucea, you will notice the verdant and productive parish of Hanover full of a wide variety of plant life, both wild and cultivated.   You will pass miles of cane fields in between Half Moon Bay and Orange Bay, and in the right season, catch the sweet/smoky aroma as they burn the old cane plants to fertilize and make room for the new ones.

Hanover is blessed with many naturally-occurring food trees and bushes, and in combination with the plantations, offers some of the best fruit and spices available anywhere.  A great percentage of the fruits, spices,  and vegetables that grace the tables in Negril are brought in from Hanover.  As Westmoreland provides masses of seafood but has a lot of morass in its parish, Hanover rounds out Nature's Table.  I highly recommend the market at Lucea for visitors leasing villas with kitchens.  It is where I shopped every day for my family and bar/restaurant-and the variety and prices, as well as freshness, can't be beaten in Negril.  It's a lovely ride and well worth the trip.
Can you guess what this is?
On the right, naturally-occurring Allspice.  Did you know Jamaica is the largest supplier of Allspice in the world?  Did you know the Allspice from Jamaica is considered the highest quality anywhere?  Did you know practically all Jamaican dishes contain some amount of Allspice?  You do now.
Sometimes it's the simple things...a few of my treasured photos are everyday items like market stalls,
spiderwebs, even an insect or a weed, caught in the right light at the right moment...
Since few of us eat as healthy as we could here in the "First World" we can at least partake of nature's wonderful bounty while visiting the Caribbean and Mexico.  Though the tastes may be unfamiliar to you, I suggest you try as many new foods as you can get your hands on.  They supply nutrition perfectly in their natural state...and are awesome to the tongue.

Above you can see fresh ripe banana and cucumber, pineapple and lime, radish, neseberry, grapefruit pawpaw, irish, jelly cocos, yam, star fruit, and custard apple, to name a few delicacies to try.  Below- Cho Cho!  One of my absolute favs in many of my dishes or by themselves!
The flora's awesome but let's not forget the fauna too!  Birdwatching, snorkeling, and fishing are excellent in Hanover!
fishing  the coast of Orange Bay
Down the road from Marble's Unicorn Lawn lie the Abingdon estate & the elderly lady that lived there with her peacocks.  I remember early mornings and in the evening hearing their wonderful calls.  Once in a while you'd get lucky and they'd be flirting with the hens and you'd see them in all their glory.
In Hanover, particularly between Orange Bay and Green Island, you'll find many roads leading up into the hills, where you'll find warm company at a local rum shop, waterfalls to cool you, springs for bathing, and amazing views round every bend.  Many of these roads are by no means highways, so take your tour with a four wheel drive from Negril or Lucea.
The coastline in Hanover is in some spots rocky, others sandy, but always beautiful.

And by no means does Negril have a monopoly on magnificent sunsets.
Orange Bay is the locale for Rhodes Hall, where the horse rides are famous, with a variety of trips to choose from.  They also have nice newer cottages right on the beach for rent, and nearby restaurants and bars.  Consider Orange Bay for your next trip-if you are looking to relax in awesome beauty and serenity.  Remember, Negril's action is just 20 minutes away if the beauty and peace get too much for you....ha.

Sapphira to the left, and Calypso, Sapphira and Jessica to the right, with their Rhodes Hall guide.
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